The Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives participated in a joint exercise named “Dosti XI” in Maldives from 23 to 27 April 2012. The exercise was successfully conducted off Male with the three Coast Guards working together to hone their skills.
Exercise “Dosti” (Friendship) till now was a bi-annual exercise started in 1991 with the objective of strengthening co-operation between the Coast Guards of India and Maldives. The exercise in its 20th year achieved a new milestone with the inclusion of the Sri Lankan Coast Guard.
A total of six ships and one aircraft participated in “Dosti-XI”. The Indian Coast Guard was represented by Indian Coast Guard Ships Sankalp and Subhadra Kumar Chauhan and a Dornier Aircraft. The Maldivian Coast Guard was represented by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard Ships Huravee, Ghazee and Shaheed Ali. The Sri Lankan side was represented by Sri Lankan Naval Ship Sagara with 35 Sri Lankan Coast Guard personnel embarked. Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard and Rear Admiral Ruwan Dias, Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard visited Maldives to witness the exercise.
The exercise was held off Male and was focused on Maritime Search and Rescue, Marine Pollution control, Medical evacuation, anti-piracy and Boarding operations. The exercise at sea was witnessed by Maldives Minister of Defence and National Security Mr Mohamed Nazim, Maldives Chief of Defence Force Maj Gen Ahmed Shiyam and representatives of various Ministries of Maldives as well as Directors General of the Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The successful completion of the exercise marked a new stage in cooperation between the three countries. With the menace of piracy shifting eastwards, it is important for the Coast Guards of the three friendly countries to work together to ensure the safety of shipping in this region. The exercise further strengthened the bonds of friendship and enhanced inter-operability between the Coast Guards of the three countries.